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Lincecum vs. Carpenter vs. Wainwright for the NL Cy Young

Nov 19, 2009, 10:37 AM EDT

The awards parade continues at 1:30 Eastern today, as the NL Cy Young Award is going to be announced.  Guys like Javier Vazquez and Josh Johnson could get some love, but most folks (including this folk) believes it will come down to one of these three guys:

Tim Lincecum: the incumbent had a lower ERA than he did in 2008. He walked fewer guys than he did in 2008. He struck only four fewer across a nearly identical number of innings. The only place where he took a hit was in his win total, and that’s largely on the Giants’ offense.  If Greinke’s award showed anything it showed that the writers are smarter about wins these days, so that shouldn’t be fatal to his chances, but they’re still all about storylines.  Greinke was the new young stud to most BBWAA members.  Lincecum was that last year.  It would not surprise me at all if the writers did here what they so often do and vote for a fresher face, even if he had a lesser arm.

Chris Carpenter: Not a fresh face, but certainly a comeback story and writers LOVE comeback stories.  That aside, he’s not all storyline. In fact, he’d be a great choice as he led the league in ERA, didn’t allow home runs, didn’t walk anyone and was absolutely essential to the Cards race to the division title. 

Adam Wainwright: Won more games than either Carpenter or Lincecum, but allowed more baserunners and stuff too (his WHIP: 1.210.  Lincecum’s: 1.047; Carpenter’s: 1.007).  He’s the freshest face here, though, and even if the wins won’t be the determining factor, at least a couple of writers may go in with that in an otherwise close race.

If you put a gun to my head I give it to Carpenter, though I’d be happy with Lincecum too because (a) it’s close; and (b) man, he’s pretty awesome to watch and dammit this is my blog and I’m allowed to credit him for that.  I think the writers will go with one of those two first and Wainwright in third.

  1. Fast Eddy - Nov 19, 2009 at 11:24 AM

    It has to be Carpenter. He had the lowest ERA, good victory total vs losses and a come back kid.
    Fast Eddy

  2. YankeesfanLen - Nov 19, 2009 at 11:29 AM

    Hey dude, I’d vote for Lincecum. Love that faux-early Randy Johnson look.

  3. James K. - Nov 19, 2009 at 11:36 AM

    Lincecum’s massive advantage in quantity overcomes Carpenter’s very slight advantage in quality. Should be Lincecum-Carpenter-Wainwright but I bet Carpenter wins.

  4. MIKE - Nov 19, 2009 at 11:51 AM

    No contest Lincecum should take it again.

  5. Fast Eddy - Nov 19, 2009 at 12:19 PM

    I don’t think 15 wins is enough to garner an award like the Cy. Even 17 is low, but with the outstanding performance he gave (no H-R’s & low ERA) Carpenter is the best choice. No one winning that sporadically should win this award, unless he is on KC or Pgh., or another team losing so many games. Certainly not a pitcher who played for a contending team like the Giants were for most of the year.
    Fast Eddy

  6. Karl - Nov 19, 2009 at 12:20 PM

    I think its Lincecum strictly for the strike outs. That is a stat that dictates total domination over hitters and has nothing to do with team defense, or offense.

  7. JT - Nov 19, 2009 at 12:28 PM

    Carpenter was nails in his first start of the year (7 inning, no earned runs) and then was injured his next start and out for over a month. What would his final numbers have been if not for that injury? 20-5? The Cardinals don’t make the playoffs without either Carpenter or Wainright, but given Carpenter’s domination, I think he’s the choice for the Cy.

  8. Fast Eddy - Nov 19, 2009 at 12:35 PM

    You are absolutely correct. I forgot about the injury time. And there is no such consideration as strike outs only for this award. You should have your total performance considered. Otherwise, Nolan Ryan should have won every year he played. Didn’t happen did it?

  9. Jon M. - Nov 19, 2009 at 12:51 PM

    Fifteen wins is indeed low, but among all the stats by which to judge a pitcher, wins is the one he has perhaps the least control over. I’m admittedly a Giants fan so I’m biased, but I can also tell you how many games I watched where Tim gave up 1 or 2 runs but lost because the offense was abysmal.
    I’m glad the writers gave less weight to wins when they voted for Greinke and I hope they do the same in the NL. Though he doesn’t have as many wins thanks to the Giants offense, Lincecum was consistently dominant all year long.

  10. Church of the Perpetually Outraged - Nov 19, 2009 at 12:52 PM

    You are absolutely correct. I forgot about the injury time. And there is no such consideration as strike outs only for this award. You should have your total performance considered. Otherwise, Nolan Ryan should have won every year he played. Didn’t happen did it?

    It’s not just K’s though, here’s some of the categories that Lincecum led Carpenter in: K’s, IP, K/9, K/BB, DIPS, CG, Shutouts, WAR (huge advantage here), FIP (far better than ERA). And the comment about 17 wins being low is hilarious considering who won the AL CY this year.

  11. Patrick Ryan - Nov 19, 2009 at 1:26 PM

    When ERA, innings, quality are the same – you go with wins (still the most important stat) – Wainwright in a squeaker.

  12. Patrick Ryan - Nov 19, 2009 at 1:55 PM

    Early twitter – Lincecum wins?????? Get some dope! and celebrate. Writers?? Geez!!!!!!!!

  13. GBS - Nov 19, 2009 at 2:00 PM

    Very interesting old-school vs. new-school debate here about the value of wins. I fall on the new-school side, because as Jon M. pointed out, a pitcher has less control over wins than anything else.
    That being said, I haven’t delved in deep enough to have a strong opinion of who should win, but as a Cards fan I’d be happy if either Carpenter or Wainwright took home the Cy. Still, if it’s Lincecum again, good for him.

  14. Fast Eddy - Nov 19, 2009 at 2:07 PM

    Did you forget the comment on playing for a losing team. Re-read. If Lincecum played for the Nats., I might give him the award. However San Fran. was a contending team for most of the year. How about Carp and Wainwright playing for a team with no closer? Franklin was a pretend closer, and blew at least 5 games in Sept. He also blew the 20th win for Wainwright at the end of the year. Wainwright left after 8 with a 1 run lead. Franklin blew it against a poor Milwaukee team with a lot of minor league players.

  15. Fast Eddy - Nov 19, 2009 at 2:25 PM

    Well, it is over anyway. I just heard that the morons in NY, gave it to Lincecum.

  16. GBS - Nov 19, 2009 at 2:49 PM

    “the morons in NY, gave it to Lincecum.”
    Actually, it was two writers from every NL town who did the voting. Very close top three.
    I wish the Cy Young and ROY ballots would be expanded to five spots. MVP gets ten while these awards get only three? Why?
    And to pick another nit, why 5-3-1 points for 1st-2nd-3rd? 3-2-1 points would be exactly the same while being simpler.

  17. kardo - Nov 21, 2009 at 12:05 AM

    Fast Eddy, don’t you think it strange that Franklin is so important in determining whether Lincecum or Carpenter should win the award? Besides the Cardinals had more saves and fewer blown saves then the Giants.
    Also Lincecum had more innings pitched, more complete games, more shut outs and far more strike outs then Carpenter, not to mention the fact that, unlike Carpenter, Lincecum actually lead his team in wins.
    This is all on top of beating him in FIP, xFIP, WAR and Opponent BA.
    Sure Carpenter is a great pitcher, and has a great story line. I would probably have voted for him. But you can’t really blame people for if they vote Lincecum over him.

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